Sleeve Notes for Ingleneuk by Hector Gilchrist
Hector is blessed with a wonderful voice and a way of carrying a song so that it touches the listener. Most of the backings on this album have been provided by Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer who are great performers in their own right but also have a way of complementing a song without getting in the way. The choice of material is wide and varies from very modern singer songwriter to Scottish traditional but it all makes good listening. The title of this CD is taken from the name of his boyhood home in Coylton, Ayrshire and is a tribute to his parents who loved singing.
A long term performer on the Folk Scene, Hector has appeared in Clubs and Festivals as a solo artist or in the duo Selkie. In this, his third album on the Wildgoose label, he has chosen many of his personal favourites, which have marked the journey from his native Ayrshire and a career in the Dairy Industry, which has taken him for lengthy periods to Cheshire, Aberdeenshire, Surrey, Dublin, East Clare, Isle of Man and Normandy. Through it all, folk music has remained a constant presence and a link to many friends where he has lived and sung.
Now retired from business, he is finding more time to perform and to bring his audience that late night, fireside warmth round the Ingleneuk.
1 Norland Wind.
A classic. Liz, my “Selkie” partner, encouraged me to learn this ballad and I admit to struggling to fit the couplets to the right verse initially. To an exile, it does paint an indelible picture in the mind, of the straths of Perthshire and Angus in autumn.
2 Are Ye Sleepin Maggie.
A lively arrangement by Vicki and Jonny, of the poem by Paisley born poet , based on a tune set by the Tannahill Weavers. I believe I may have slept through a few lectures at the Old Paisley Tech. in the late 50’s !
The late Stan Rogers song is another of my favourites, missed off previous recordings.
Violet Jacob / Jim Reid
Violet Jacob wrote many fine poems in the local vernacular of the Mearns of Fife, although amazingly, it was not her natural tongue. This is a tale of remembrance on Hallows eve, by a ploughman, whose comrade, The “Heid” horseman, has been lost in the trenches and a new one, has placed his clothes kist next to the fire. It prompts us I think, to take the time to read the lists on the village war memorials, when passing by. Jim Reid’s tune captures the mood perfectly, as does Jonny’s sensitive, piano accompaniment.
5 Corn Rigs.
The works of Robert Burns, have been a lifelong interest and I have sung them since schooldays. When I started performing in the 60’s they were little heard in Folk Clubs. An earlier Wildgoose Records CD, “The Lea Rig”, has eighteen of the songs, but I had to include at least one. In this case, another conquest for Rabbie!
6 Getting Over You.
I have always loved Janis Ian’s songs. This one, although not a happy subject, is often requested and is one of my favourites from her extensive repertoire.
7 Bogie’s Bonnie Belle.
During our time in Aberdeen, I joined the local Folk Club and was made welcome. There, in the Station Hotel, I listened to and joined in with, many fine artists in the years between 1969 and 1972. This song is evocative of those years and also my links with the farming community.
A well known, pipe tune, with words by the Scottish singer Jim Malcolm, which effectively conjure up the seasons in the countryside. One for the “ex-pats”. Put on your marching boots to Vicki’s pipes !
9 Fair Helen o’ Kirkconnel.
I first recorded this song on vinyl at the Liverpool Folk Festival in 1966. It recalls the many friends whom I made during my eight years in Cheshire and at the Crewe Folk Club. The lass Helen, in this ballad, was obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time! The tale is well documented in Border literature.
10 Lallans Love.
I have always been keen to keep the old tongue of Scotland and my native Ayrshire alive. The tune, to one of my earlier poems, (Translation available!) came to me, during one of many visits to the home of friends Michael and Carmel Scanlan, who live near Nenagh Co,Tipperary. This is dedicated to the family and thanks for the generous hospitality and friendship enjoyed over the years.
11 Last Trip Home.
From the pen of the sorely missed singer/songwriter, Davy Steele. The verses take me back to watching the Clydesdales on a neighbouring farm and the demise of the working horses in the 50’s, replaced inevitably, by the ubiquitous Fordsons and “Fergies”
12 Valley of Strathmore.
Andy M. Stewart
A “Selkie” standard . Andy M. Stewart ‘s passionate song of longing, for a time past and probably gone.
No excuses for another Janis Ian number. I motor cycled last year from Surrey to Edinburgh mostly in the rain, to hear her in concert. Interpret this song as you will. Can I say more? Of course!
14 May Morning Dew.
My time spent working and living in Ireland, has left me with a love of that country, the music of its people and also, a better understanding of its history. Ennis, Co. Clare artist, Phil Brennan, brings it all to life in his paintings, one of which, depicts this scene of an abandoned cottage in decay, slowly returning to the earth.